Reflections: A Thousand Splendid Suns by Mr. Khaled Hosseini

What was the book about?

From the author of the bestselling novel "The Kite Runner", A Thousand Splendid Suns narrates a fictitious tale of two women, Mariam and Laila. The two protagonists, both born in different decades in different parts of their country with their destinies  intertwined, where for the salvation of the one, the other has to relinquish. It is a saga about their love, loss, submission, and courage set on the landscape of war and political upheavals in Afghanistan between 1959-2003.

The writer takes you through the flourished cities to the barren lands. From the school-going girls to the c-sections without anesthesia. From the working women in skirts to the widows compelled to leave children in orphanages. 

From a naïve Mariam Jo, waiting for her father, who is ashamed of publicly acknowledging her existence, to a mature Laila who leaves a comfortable life to be a part of the change, her country was going through. And in between these two, the writer has written "A thousand splendid suns" in approximately 400 pages. Pages filled with myriads of human emotions.

How I felt after reading it?

I read this book two weeks ago and it is still lingering in my head. My heart broke many times while reading it. I had to keep reminding my soul that this is mere fiction, but my brain could not ignore that it is the reality of many women on our planet. While reading it, I had flashes from the movie Bioscopewala, the broken houses, the deserted cities, the burned movie theater, and the woman without the nose. 

Mr. Hosseini has a wonderful gift of story-telling. This is my first read by the author but surely won't be the last. I hope that every book lover reads this. I picked this book because I wanted to read different perspectives from different parts of the human known world. And this book definitely expanded my horizon.

One interestingly unique outlook I gained through this book, is about Burkha. I could have never fathomed how any woman can prefer wearing it. But the writer somehow convinced me that there are reasons, why this suffocating piece of cloth can offer a woman her serenity, how one can feel both, trapped and safe behind the veil. 

My review?

I truly loved the book, the story, and the characters. The story flow is impeccable. The language used is subtle. To be honest I do not deem myself worthy of citing anything negative either about the book or the writing style. Still, if I have to mention, I did not like that there are women who are living this as their reality, there are women who have no rights, they cannot walk alone, they cannot study or work, women and girls who are treated as men's slaves or property. And the worse part is, even after knowing all this, there is nothing, literally nothing I can do about it (at least currently), and the worst is even those in power are not willing to do much. This is fiction with a million realities.

One could not count the moons that shimmer on her roofs,

Or the thousand splendid suns that hide behind her walls.’

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